8 Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

8 Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

Today I was in a local toy store and saw a lunch box for children with a sticker price of …honestly, what’s that all about?  Do people really pay for a lunch box?  I don’t care if that lunch box lasts me all year; I’m still not going to pay for it! 

Truth be told, if we all take a step back in our own homes, we will find a few different options we can use right there to pack lunches every day; we just need to get creative!

FYI-follow these tips for money saving and eco- friendly lunch packing tips:

1-Reuse baskets, tin cookie containers, gift bags or small coolers as lunch boxes.

2-Purchase small ice packs to keep lunches cool and from spoiling OR freeze water in a plastic water bottle, leaving ½” head room, and use to keep lunch cool.  The extra bonus is the ice will be melting and will provide your child with fresh and cool water at lunch.

3-Instead of plastic baggies, purchase wax eco-friendly bags, or reusable nylon snack or sandwich bags.

4-Utilize a small, flat plastic container or Wrap-n-Mat for sandwiches or wraps.

5-Small glass jam jars work really great for everything from cut vegetables to yogurt to trail mix.

6-Send along a cloth napkin for use as napkin and/or placemat.

7-Stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottles replace the need for juice boxes or sugared drinks.

8-Send a little love note from home in your child’s lunchbox.  If he/she can’t read, a small picture or smiley face will do the trick.

About the Author

Nichi Hirsch Kuechle supports moms during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond as a health coach, craniosacral therapist and birth & postpartum doula in Minneapolis.   She publishes a bi-monthly e-newsletter called Natural Family, which offers tips, ideas and resources for naturally raising your children.  She also teaches a variety of live and virtual workshops.  You can get Nichi’s New Parent Tool Kit, for free, by going to: http://www.myhealthybeginning.com


It includes a hospital-birth checklist, home-birth checklist, a list of her favorite natural baby care items, creative ideas for helping siblings adjust, and much more.  Get yours today, while it’s free!

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Environmental experts: "poison plastic," the damage worse than waste oil – toxic plastic, recycled – plastics industry

Environmental experts: "poison plastic," the damage worse than waste oil – toxic plastic, recycled – plastics industry

HC plastic mesh News: In the breakfast own it can often be steaming hot fried fritters, soybean curd, steamed buns, and were put in plastic bag and handed it the hands of customers; in some small restaurants, soup is often peremptorily children poured into a plastic bag packaging away … … “These plastic bags, raw materials are likely to be” toxic “plastic granules.” In response, the State Environmental protection Product Quality Supervision and Inspection Center Distinguished experts in the Golden Lion said Dong.

Experts say “At present many areas of waste plastics recycling industry are in a regulatory gap, and many processed plastic granules of the enterprise itself is not illegal, and then expect to be legitimate applications of these materials is clearly unrealistic. Currently on the market of plastic particles are widely applied, many of which be processed into a common ultra-thin plastic bags. There are also producing plastic lunch boxes, disposable plastic cups, Toy , Basins and other plastic products, illegal enterprise, the raw materials used are “toxic” plastic particles. ”

Thin plastic garbage bags over transfiguration

Previously, directors had the Golden Lion “poison” the application of plastic particles had in-depth investigation, has been to Yingkou and other places unannounced visits, found that ultra-thin plastic bags, raw materials shall be processed out of a number of small workshops dark gray plastic granules, Adds after the mother into the different colors, will Zaochu blue, white, black, red and other one-time plastic bags of different colors, “the market is used in such bags.”

‘s Survey found that some large-scale supermarkets, shopping malls and shopping centers can implement the basic provisions of the national limit plastic bag, paid to provide customers with environmentally friendly plastic bags, but in some integrated bazaars and street shops scattered stalls, plastic limit order is ineffective, the market is full of a variety of ultra-thin plastic bags to the customer free of charge. “At the beginning of the plastic bag market Guande Yan, and now few people are managing.” A selling point for businesses face told reporters that her bags wholesale from other markets, “we are a small business , bags are too expensive, only two or three cents a thin plastic bag. “interviews some of the business, also said the reason they provide plastic bags to customers free of charge, is forced. Who sells seafood business, said, “We are not willing to provide free plastic bags, but the customer is not willing to spend money on bags, we can not let customers use the right hand!”

Reporter visited the Dalian train station is located near a number of wholesale department and firms, found that almost every sale of cheap plastic products, plastic basin, lunch boxes, bottles, cups, rice bowls and other plastic products, work on rough, no marks, some plastic bottle is very thin, hand-pinch on the deformation, and these plastics have an acrid smell of children.

A shopkeeper quietly told reporters: “cheap, almost all of plastic products Renewable materials , Those who had been discarded plastic waste into recycled materials processed on these plastic products inappropriate for home use, will be deformation encountered in hot water, a sun there an odor, a lot of businesses engaged in marketing are often used as gifts. “The owner said,” processing plastic products and recycled materials with the original materials as much as several thousand dollars per ton of difference, so to buy more cheap plastic products factory plastic particles. ”

Experts say “According to state regulations, waste plastics can be recycled, but technically demanding. Prior to that, I have done investigation and analysis of the market for Food Packaging, plastic products, some of which existed in the source of the problem of raw materials, some do not meet the requirements of food packaging waste, recycled materials. ”

Recycled plastic Can not be used for food packaging

Dong Lion said that the recycled plastic product application, the state has clearly defined, can not directly be used to make contact with food items, can only do garbage bags, a chair for a class of products, all Waste plastic Food packaging materials do not. Because the plastic used for food packaging has stringent standards, must be non-toxic, generally Polyethylene , Polypropylene, and melamine and other raw materials, these materials are not required to join in the processing of chemical additives, relatively stable single component, so even if used for holding hot food or water will not cause harmful reactions. Good raw material from a special plastic petrochemical plant, meet the health requirements.

Even so, even under the food-grade and industrial grade to select a different raw materials, industrial raw materials can not be used in the production of food grade products. As for those dirty waste plastic products, some also see plastic melting of impurities, but can not be used to make food-grade plastic products. But in the actual manipulation, some producers and dealers of plastic raw materials known to be spam, but overseas sales, without any identification instructions.

Not only concern the production of raw materials, some of the factory production environment is very health. “At present, plastic packaging for food market access in practice QS certification, those dark dens dirty production environment simply can not meet the sanitary requirements of food packaging, but some vendors only from a profit perspective, set the expense of social responsibility, mass production of consumer products harmful to health. “Dong Lion said,” to create a situation, the relevant functional departments and inadequate supervision of investigation and punishment. ”

Experts say

“Waste plastic composition contains a large number of spoilage bacteria and other harmful chemicals. Some people think that these plastics in the production process after a high temperature melting, high temperature sterilization effect there, but in fact it is our understanding misunderstanding. ”

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Food With Mineral Water Bottles Can Cause Cancer, The Incidence Of Oil

Food With Mineral Water Bottles Can Cause Cancer, The Incidence Of Oil

6 PS common snack, noodle boxes, can not be heated in a microwave oven, can not install acid, such as orange juice, alkaline substances, can not dress hot food, so as to avoid the release of carcinogenic substances. 7 PC common with bottle, space cup, bottle, etc., these plastic products can not be in the sun exposure, not heating, not to pour boiling water, heated to release the carcinogenic substances.

HC food industry network You know with a mineral water bottle for holding food, oil and other Seasoning Re-use can lead to cancer, the incidence of common sense it? We use every day Plastic bottles Most high-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and other chemical product manufacturing, manufacturers of these items when in use have different labels, different grades of plastic bottles have different use purposes.

1 PEI is a common mineral water bottles, heat-resistant to 70 easily deformed. 1 bottle use after 10 months may release carcinogens DEHP.

2 HDPE is a common bottle, cleaning supplies, bath products, do not use water storage boxes, can not recycle.

3 PRC common raincoat, building materials, plastic film, Plastic Box And so on. Do not recycle or packaging purposes.

4 common PE cling film, plastic film, high temperatures can release toxic substances, it can enter the body with food after the cause of breast cancer, neonatal birth defects and other diseases, not to put food into the microwave with plastic wrap.

5 PP common milk bottles, yogurt bottles, Juice Drink bottles, lunch boxes and other microwave ovens, melting point up to 167 , can be reused after careful cleaning, some microwave meal box body to manufacture 5 PP, but the lid is to 1, PE manufacturing. Since PE can not withstand high temperatures, it can not be placed in a microwave oven box body.

6 PS common snack, Instant noodles Box, can not be placed in the microwave heating, can not install acid, as orange juice, alkaline substances, can not dress hot food, so as to avoid the release of carcinogenic substances.

7 PC common with kettle, space cup, bottle, etc., these plastic products can not be in the sun exposure, not heating, not to pour boiling water, heated to release the carcinogenic substances.

Liu Lifang told reporters, plastics No. 1 and use our regular contact, some people do not know the knowledge, use mineral water bottles for holding food, oil and other seasonings, so repeated use can lead to cancer incidence. Toxicity is most critical to 3,6 and 7 plastic containers, with the bottles into more dangerous foods on the human body. CPPCC member Liu Lifang

City to enforce the proposed increase use of plastic products, access to food law enforcement system, in particular, cooked foods increase the food with the mandatory use of QS logo Plastic bags Packaging law enforcement to ensure that the cooked food packaging Dalian quality and safety aspects. Adhere to long-term propaganda, calling on the proper use of a variety of plastic products, and to consciously use Environmental protection Bags, plastic bags from the root to resist the use of ultra-thin. Set up telephone hotlines, and launch reward systems. Processed by the public to report the black point of a verified law enforcement officers can scale a certain amount of reward to be an informer.

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Thermos Food Containers Advice

Thermos Food Containers Advice

The very first thing you may desire is often a container in which to pack the lunch. It doesn’t need to cost a good deal of dollars. For adults a smaller cooler makes a great lunch box. Fred uses a medium sized cooler. He is commonly gone for 24 to 48 hours, so he needs a good deal of food to preserve him going. For children and teenagers, you can often locate affordable lunch boxes and insulated lunch bags at yard sales and thrift shops.

Small children often prefer a plastic lunch box with cartoon characters on the side. I suggest you buy these as cheaply as possible. They only last for a year or two before the children drop them or the latch breaks. At to a piece, buying brand new boxes has never been a good investment for me. I have purchased them new when I desperately needed the thermoses that came with them. After the plastic lunch box broke, I purchased replacements from my local Goodwill. I continue to use the same thermos year after year.

If the art work on an older lunch box is shabby, you can easily replace it. Use rubber cement to glue down a new picture (cut to size) and then cover the picture with clear contact paper. I’ve done this, and it lasted almost 2 years, until the lunch box cracked and became unusable. Amy D. describes the process in detail in the first book of The Tightwad Gazette.

For older children insulated lunch bags work best. They don’t have the juvenile connotations of plastic boxes with matching thermoses, so older kids usually don’t object to carrying them. I like them because they don’t break when they get drop-kicked across the living room by a budding football player. Since they have soft sides, it is easier to fit more food and odd-shaped containers in them too. They usually have zipper closing and shoulder straps for carrying them. I buy the largest ones I can find because I find them easier to fill. Many modern insulated bags have several extra zipper pockets and sections on the outside to carry little extras like napkins, spoons and salt or pepper packets. My boys like these but they aren’t really necessary. Purchased brand-new, insulated lunch bags cost between and . If you wait until back-to-school-sales you may find them cheaper. Over the summer they can often be found at yard sales. Insulated lunch bags usually do not come with their own thermos, so you will have to use some you already have or buy them separately.

The Thermos
Which brings us to the next item you need for lunch packing: a thermos. If you have a thermos left over from older lunch boxes then use it. Whenever you can use something you already have it saves you money. If you don’t already have a thermos, then try your local thrift stores and yard sales. They can often be found for 50? to . Objectionable artwork can sometimes be removed with fingernail polish remover. If that doesn’t work, then cover the picture you don’t like with another picture you do like. Trim a piece of clear contact paper to fit neatly over the new picture and press it firmly into place. Be careful when you wash the thermos. Don’t soak it in the dish water for hours and hours. This will help preserve the new artwork.

If you absolutely need to buy new thermoses then the greatest selection is in August, right before school starts. I prefer wide-mouthed thermoses, sometimes referred to as insulated food-jars. They come in a standard 10-ounce size, and look exactly like regular lunch box thermoses on the outside. Inside however, their mouths are large enough to put chunky foods inside, like casseroles and beanie-weanies. They are also much easier to clean because of their wide mouths.

I have also seen small cold-only thermoses. They usually hold about 4 to 6-ounces, or about 1/2-cup. The lids go into the freezer overnight, and then chilled food is placed inside the thermos in the morning. By lunch time, the food is still fresh and cold. This works well for homemade pudding, jello, chilled fruit, yogurt, and the like. I used to try to use these for hot things too, but it turned out they only work for cold things. Live and learn.

Plastic Bags & Resealable Containers
In addition to the lunch box and thermos, there are a few extras you will need. These include small resealable containers and plastic flip-top baggies. If you have any small leftover yogurt tubs, the kind with resealable lids, they are excellent for lunch boxes. If you found a sale on 8-ounce containers of store-brand yogurt, it would be worth it to buy a dozen or so. Eat the yogurt. Wash and save the containers for lunch boxes. If this isn’t possible, then you can buy reusable Glad, or Zip-Lock containers in 8 and 4-ounce sizes. They last a long time, and are just the right size for jello, canned fruit, pudding, cobbler and salads. By the way, there is no rule that you must to fill a container all of the way full. You can fill a container half full of jello, yogurt, or pudding and send it to school just like that.

Sandwiches, popcorn, fresh fruit, veggies sticks, and boiled eggs go into flip-top baggies. I let my boys throw the bags away when they are done with them. Store-brand bags cost about 1/2? a piece, and save me having to wash any extra plastic bags. The plastic containers come home for a good sudsing everyday.

You may also be interested in reading about thermos lunch boxes and thermos funtainer bottle.

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When it comes to expanding storage life of dry goods, you can’t beat a vacuum sealer IMHO. With 500 cc oxygen absorbers costing per 50 (Nitro Pak), investing in a vacuum sealer to help you extend shelf life makes sense, especially if you want to use canning jars in the process. The model we have cost under 0 when we bought it on sale 2-3 years ago, and now retails for approx. 0. Though I didn’t show it in the video, you can also re-seal plastic bags with your vacuum sealer. As mentioned in the video, please check out this video series on creating a home food storage system (very practical method!), using a vacuum sealer, as well as a solar oven. This is a link to the first video, and you will see the other (8) listed on the side. www.youtube.com Mrs. Dewitt also has a downloadable cookbook with recipes specifically pertaining to using a home food storage and a solar oven: www.theideadoor.com Another link related to this topic you might find helpful is Walton Feeds storage life of dry goods: waltonfeed.com
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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